Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: It Didn't Take Long for Hollinger Row to Break Medialand Peace

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: It Didn't Take Long for Hollinger Row to Break Medialand Peace

Article excerpt

After the traumas of the past few months, we are heading for a period of tranquillity just in time for the Christmas party season - aren't we?

There are a few details yet to be agreed. The headhunters are still trying to find a non-executive chairman for ITV plc and John Billett and chums are searching for an adjudicator to handle advertising disputes.

But from ITV to BSkyB, surely peace is about to break out at last, and Lord St John of Fawsley has managed to survive as a non-executive director of the satellite broadcaster.

He can be expected to stay for at least six months now the point has been made - somewhat shakily - that old Norman St John-Stevas ran a completely above-board selection process.

For ITV plc, all the hurdles have fallen away. Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has rubber-stamped the undertakings and ITV could be one by January.

There won't even be the extra complication of a united sales house to face them. There seems to be no desire for BSkyB, Channel 4 and Five to get together. Five was standing by in the hope of acting as kingmaker, but no one wanted to dance. If Channel 4 had joined with Five, BSkyB would have had to sit up and take notice - and vice versa.

The silence is deafening. As a result, stability reigns and ITV plc will have a chance to prove itself for a month or two. Soon after, the Michael Green revenge factor will come in to play. Only an idiot would bet against Green being chairman of ITV before 2004 is out. He would be an obvious front man for an American predator, with the best bet on this front remaining Haim Saban, helped by Power Rangers money. …

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